East Germany

Parliament buildings over looks the city of Belfast, Northern Ireland, Oct. 28, 2022. 

State reformation: Part I

Critical State

This week’s Critical State, a foreign policy newsletter by Inkstick Media, takes a deep dive into what might happen should Ireland and Northern Ireland fall under one government again.

In this Jan. 16, 2020, file photo an uniper coal-fired power plant and BP refinery steam beside a wind generator in Gelsenkirchen, Germany.

What Germany can teach the US about quitting coal

The Big Fix
a German flag waves and a protester holds up a sign that says "tolerance Nazi"

Is there a ‘Nazi emergency’ in the German city of Dresden?

A woman holds a video camera in her hand in a black and white photo

Vintage home movies show another side of life in East Germany before the fall of the Berlin Wall

Women hold bags and signs that read: "Same pay for same work" at a rally for equal pay in Berlin, Germany, 2015.

Women in Germany’s east earn close to what men do. Can we thank socialism for that?

Bad Doberan, Germany is the home of Zappanale, an annual summer festival inspired by the life and work of Frank Zappa.

In the former East Germany, Frank Zappa lives on as a beacon of freedom


Who was Frank Zappa? Virtuoso guitarist? Modernist composer? Smutty lyricist? Anti-censorship activist? All of the above … and much more in the former East Germany. There, his banned records fetched small fortunes among rebellious young men who dreamed of freedom. This episode of The World in Words podcast spends 30 minutes in the company of one such man who now runs a Zappa-themed festival. We also hear from an American translator who explains Zappa’s obscure lyrics to German fans, line by line.

People walk under the "Lichtgrenze" installation along the River Spree in Berlin on November 8, 2014. A part of the inner city of Berlin was temporarily divided with a light installation to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

This Berlin friendship began over the radio and in the shadow of the Wall


In 1989, Leslie and Cornelia were two young Berlin students living on opposites sides of the wall. But when the border opened, a shared love of radio brought them together in a friendship that is still alive today.

A part of the inner city of Berlin will be temporarily divided from November 7 to 9, 2014, with a light installation featuring 8,000 luminous white balloons to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Here a woman walks in front of

During the Cold War, buying people from East Germany was common practice

Global Politics

East Germany never had a lot of cash on hand. What it did have was political prisoners, and plenty of them. So during the Cold War, the communist regime ransomed hundreds of thousands of people to the West in exchange for much-needed hard currency.


India’s low-budget Mars probe snaps an iconic photo of the red planet

Global Scan

India’s Mars mission keeps grabbing headlines — including this week, when the probe took this remarkable photo. Meanwhile, the US is shipping more of its oil overseas than at any time in the past 50 years, and that’s a good sign gas prices are heading down. And ISIS thwarts US airstrikes with a speedy change in its tactics, in today’s Global Scan.

A cover illustration for the Communist-era board game Burokratopoly, which is being re-launched by Berlin's DDR Museum.

To understand life in East Germany, all you need is this board game


The board game called Bürokratopoly isn’t about getting filthy rich, though players might feel filthy after they’re done playing. The popular German game was created by dissidents in communist East Germany years ago as a satire about power and corruption. Now it has become a teaching tool for German kids trying to understand what it was like to live in the Communist East.